Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happyness!

So I love going to the Whitecross street market to get my lunch during work. It's a long distance from my office, but I enjoy the walk; it's probably one reason why I go - to take a nice 20min walk just before lunch. The market kicks off at noon and there are various stalls carrying all types of food, possibly from all the parts of the world. Click here to see the place!

The parts of the world that interest me, however, are only that of Italy and India. Dishes served in these two stalls are rich in variety even when it comes to vegetarians, are rich in flavour, and in my opinion, offer good value for money too. The reason for my inclination towards the Indian stalls is quite obvious but the Italian stall attracts me more for the fact that I believe I'd never learn to cook these dishes at home and so I gorge as much as I can when I have the chance.

So this weekend, when I went to do my grocery shopping at Morrisons, I decided to get some of the bottled sauces to try my amateur hand at these Italian pastas. I bought the tomato & Mediterranean vegetables sauce, and tomato & chilli sauce; picked up two packets of Penne Rigate and Spirali each from the neatly stacked large shelves and was feeling quite Italian already! I prepared Spicy Arrabbiata for lunch on Sunday and complimented it with some toast and butter as sides, and without sounding too boastful of my cooking skills, I think it tasted quite like the box of arrabbiata I get from the Italian stall at Whitecross. I couldn't believe it until a few spoonfuls and then I had sort of a eureka moment sitting in my kitchen - I could cook Italian food! And then it occurred to me, how suddenly had the Italian food come within my reach! In a fleeting moment though, the Italian stall lost its charm. I felt like a master who had just tamed a ferocious tiger...

Cutting sharply through my thoughts was my washing machine making loud noises of rinsing and spinning my clothes. I darted out of the kitchen and into my bedroom, to quickly get dressed for my evening ahead. Idly sitting in the tube later on, my thoughts sprang back into my mind as if trying to finish some unfinished business! I thought about how the dishes at the Italian stall suddenly seemed captured within realm of my own kitchen. And my mind was quickly drawing up an analogy with Life itself.

Wouldn't you agree with me when I say a task, or a material object, or even a personality attracts more interest and curiosity when we think it/they are unattainable? Money, fame, all big fat luxury items, our favorite celebrities and their lifestyles, etc. - just all of them carry a certain aura, charm and a mystery that makes them seem so special and unreachable. We all desire for each of these - to earn money, to be successful (which is only a relative term anyway), to own some hi-tech or fashionable luxury item, to meet our favorite personality - but once we get these things, what really happens? The luxury item becomes a showpiece that you overtime forget to even brag about; money stays in your bank and you enjoy spending it but are no longer under the aura it carried in your mind until you earned it all, and you look at the picture you got taken with your favorite star and bask in it, if only momentarily! None of this is against the human psyche. This is how we are. This is how I am. Only that this time, the Italian stall was at the losing end of the game.

But I have come to believe, with the limited knowledge that I possess, there is one thing we all desire for, and yet never grow tired of after achieving/experiencing it - happiness. There is no one definition to happiness, and each one of us has her/his own for this 9-letter word, but no matter how difficult the path to achieving this feeling might be I am absolutely sure at no point in time do we begin to set it aside as an attained wealth/commodity - like I perhaps did with the Italian stalls. To vouch for my rather homo-sapiens-behaviour, I tried out the 'I-can-possibly-never-get-anything-interesting-veggie-there-thus-unreachable' Japanese place Habibi that my team often visits to get lunch from and after tasting the Vegetable Curry & Rice I wondered why I avoided this place all this while. And voila! I now have another object of desire.

Such is Life, and it is only nice to have these tiny realizations between awesome morsels of food that I put into my mouth, making every bite rich and wholesome.

2 comments:

Manish Prayaga said...

brilliant ! I noticed - "happyness"
Haha :D

Ramya Prayaga said...

:) yeah! You are yet to eat the pastas though...